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sponsored by wpbt >> susie: good evening, everyone. the u.s. financial markets were closed to mark independence day. so tonight we'll take a break from our usual reporting to take a look at the state of the economy and the markets at the year's half-way point. >> tom: susie, it's often said that the financial markets hate uncertainty and over the past six months, there was plenty of uncertainty about where the economy was headed. there was even some talk about the possibility of a double-dip recession. >> susie: and as midwest bureau chief diane eastabrook reports, the lack of clear economic signals made it hard for many businesses to plan ahead: >> reporter: kidsnips gives a lot of haircuts. it's a business that operates nine hair styling salons in the chicago area, catering mostly to children. but last year, kidsnips took a haircut itself-- a financial one that is. when the u.s. economy blew up, kidnsips' business did, too. owners kim stolz and jill gordon say cash-strapped customers got fewer haircuts. they bought even fewer of the toys and games kidsnips also sells. this year b
, susie, on the labor market and housing. >> susie: u.s. secretary timothy geithner told the pbs newshour, it is important to remember the financial crisis cut very deep with millions of americans losing their jobs. >> tom: while geithner acknowledges we have an enormous whole to climb out, he says the economy is healing. he spoke about strong exports and increased business development. and the treasury secretary spoke with the "news hour"'s jim lehrer. >> if it is going so well, why does it feel like it isn't going so well. >> the scars of this recession were traumatic. people saw the value of their savings plummet. a terrible blow to basic confidence. you're still seeing lasting effect of that damage on business confidence and how people feel about their basic lives. people, understandably, feel a little cautious and tentative. we've seen a little concern about europe wash across the economy. no recoveries are even and steady. what you can say today with confidence is we're in a much stronger position today than we were 18 months ago. much stronger position to deal were you with were ou
to 454,000. that's the lowest level since early may. late today, the u.s. treasury declined to label china a currency manipulator, citing that country's recent move to end the yuan's peg to the dollar. in a report to congress, treasury secretary geithner said what matters most is how far and how fast china's currency appreciates. meantime, interest rates are staying the same in the euro zone. the european central bank met today decided to join the bank of england in leaving its benchmark interest rate at an historic low. meanwhile, u.s. mortgage rates continue to drop-- the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is at a record low 4.57%. and u.s. government scientists have made what could be a major breakthrough in the battle against h.i.v. they've discovered two human antibodies that can stop more than 90% of known global h.i.v. strains from infecting human cells in the laboratory. the breakthrough could be used to create improved vaccines and treat h.i.v. infections. >> susie: still ahead, the bond market's been on a tear recently. coming up, analysts weigh in on whether the run
the recession butc u.s. economy'sñr recovery.ñté:uk report, the sector faces some uncertainty for the rest of the year. >> reporter: the basic materials sector could be the comeback kid when firms report second-quartfbñr earnings. companies in that sector make everything from steel4p!o . thomson reuters estimates profits for the 32 basic materials companies in the s&p 500 index will top $6 billionÑi in the secondÑi quarter. that's nearly double what they made a year ago during the depth of the reception when-- recessionçó when some basic materials companies lost money. analysts say the segment is benefitting from the u.s.e@6hce they also admit the recoveryñr has been anemic. that isçóÑi reflected in the dow jones u.s. basic materials sector index.1f itÑi took off in the beginning of the year as factory orders increaseÑi on signs theçó economy was improving.Ñi butÑi theñr index tanked in theú crisis in europe could spread here.Ñi kimberlieñr dubord follows it for briefing.com. she says the sector has been improving in recent week bus there is still concern about our eco
.p. began polluting the gulf of mexico and u.s. coastline, the company has a new leader and new strategy. the company's new chief executive, bob dudley, said change is coming, even though he's a longtime b.p. insider. >> we're going to learn a lot, and the industry's going to learn a lot, and there's no question that we will change as a company and from those learnings. >> reporter: included in those changes is an accelerated plan to raise cash by selling b.p.'s non-core assets, or less than 10% of the company's total business. the company is guessing it will need $32 billion to cover costs and liabilities from the spill, well below some worst-case estimates of $60 billion. still, analyst cathy milostan says, by disposing of assets b.p. hopes to show investors it can pay for the mess. >> we're starting to see what i call building blocks of being able to demonstrate that there is cash that they can access to cover oil spill costs. the issue here is, there's still a good deal of uncertainty as to what the future costs could be. that uncertainty continues to dog b.p.'s stock. the shares hav
there has been, and continued to be some layoffs of our u.s.-based crews. >> susie: certainly there have been some economic consequences here. it seems like the latest moratorium is focusing more on the safety aspects. let's look at what ken salazar said about this yesterday. he said "i remain open to modifying the new deepwater drilling suspension. but industry must raise the bar on its practices, on deepwater safety, and the oil spill response." so has your company made any changes in its safety procedures to deal with these kind of situations? >> well, yes, we have. almost immediately we began reviewing the procedures that we had in place. we don't have a full accounting yet of what happened on the horizon, but from events and data that has been released, we were able to concentrate on key areas and make sure that we had adequate procedures, adequate training of pena people in those areas. additionally, the industry began several studies and made recommendations to secretary salazar on immediate steps that could be made to improve safety. i think most of those are in place already. pr
evening, everyone. the u.s. economy lost jobs in june, the first time that's happened this year. tom, today's employment report didn't give americans much to cheer about as they head off for the holiday weekend. >> tom: susie, 125,000 jobs were lost, mostly because thousands of temporary census bureau workers left their jobs the unemployment rate fell unexpectedly to 9.5%, down from 9.7%. but that's only because many people stopped looking for work. >> susie: today's report reinforced worries that the economic recovery could be getting off track and the economy will slow over the next six months. scott gurvey has explains. >> reporter: if you were expecting today's report on employment in june to provide a clear picture of the outlook for the rest of the year you were disappointed. and if policymakers at the fed and in congress were looking to the report for guidance in the debate between additional stimulus and a new austerity they too were disappointed. the private sector did add jobs and more jobs than it added in may. and yes, the unemployment rate fell. but that was a result of
before. >> reporter: economists say the recent skittishness in global markets is also making many u.s. firms cautious about their hiring and capital spending. and it's not just fortune 500 companies that are reluctant to commit to new workers. manager min tu of this new york city subway shop says he doesn't need any more help. >> now, we are not hiring. now, we have enough people for this business. last year is okay, but before we had four to five people. now is slower; four is okay. >> reporter: that trend is bad news for the u.s. economy, because small businesses typically are major job producers. economist thomas berner says small firms are not very optimistic about the prospects for future sales in the current economic environment. >> they're worried about where the cycle is going, like everybody, and that adds to their uncertainty on top of not being able to borrow money as easily or at the same rate as, for example, larger companies. >> reporter: hiring momentum may be slowing in the u.s., but most experts do believe companies will continue to add jobs to their payrolls this yea
evening. two big developments tonight concerning the u.s. financial system: the senate passed the most comprehensive financial reform bill since the 1930s. and susie, late today, goldman sachs settled its civil fraud case with the s.e.c., agreeing to pay more than half a billion dollars. >> susie: tom, we begin with that historic reform bill. it's designed to prevent financial crises in the future. the senate approved the legislation by a vote of 60 to 39. the president is expected to sign it into law next week. >> tom: the new rules will mean huge changes for consumers, and for banks across the country, from the big banks like j.p. morgan, citi, and bank of america to smaller regional firms. darren gersh reports. >> reporter: it's a safe bet school kids decades from now will be quizzed on the dodd- frank wall street reform and consumer protection act. they'll be asked about the new financial stability oversight council, and how it was empowered to identify and correct the kinds of risks regulators missed in the great recession; about the new consumer protection bureau, covering most e
in europe, you see more value there than in investing in any u.s. companies? >> i think so. it is not to discount the united states. the united states should grow faster than europe. it is just which the values and the prices have been discounted so substantially in europe because of the problems with their banks and the potential bailouts of greece and so on, that value is presenting itself. >> susie: now, it's interesting, even though today we had a big rally, and the stock market hasn't been like this in the last couple of weeks, and investors have been so worried, pouring their money into bond funds and into u.s. treasuries, and you see the best days of bond investing are over. how long can investors count on decent returns from bonds? >> i think the best days are over. and that means, simply, the days of price appreciation in terms of bonds added to the yield, which in many cases produced double-digit types of years are over, but it doesn't mean that bonds will go down in price and that 3% to 4% to 5% yields available to investors through pimco funds and others aren't
sponsored by wpbt >> gharib: good evening, everyone. a four-day winning streak on wall street. the major u.s. stock indexes posted their best week in nearly a year. you know, tom, investors have been snapping up stocks ohopes they'll be getting some good news and it starts next week. >> hudson: you can see the optimistic mood change when you look at the numbers. all three major indices gained 5% over the past week. the dow up 60 points today, the nasdaq adding 21 and the s&p 500 rising 7.5. today's gains did come on lower volume ahead of the weekend. the nyse is down over a billion shares and the nasdaq off the two billion share pace. >> gharib: the one concern is the economy, including the weak housing market. that housing weakness comes even though the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is now at the lowest level in 50 years. it's averaging just over 4.5% nationwide. erika miller explains why it's not doing much to help the markets. >> reporter: with mortgage rates at rock bottom levels you'd expect a surge. but not so, says marc kunnen who blames the tougher standards. >> the higher credit score
by wpbt >> susie: good evening, everyone. it could take as much as five to six years for the u.s. economy to fully recover. tom, that's the federal reserve's revised forecast for the economy, released today along with the minutes of its june meeting. >> tom: and susie, the fed is also painting a weaker picture for this year. policymakers predict the gross domestic product will grow between 3% and 3.5% in 2010. in april, policymakers were more optimistic, expecting growth of as much as 3.7%. >> susie: tom, the fed blamed "economic developments abroad" for the change in its economic outlook, but economist anthony chan worries the central bank's growth projections are still off. >> i think an argument could be made that when you look at the growth band that the federal reserve has, that it's still fairly optimistic. a 3% number on the low side is still pretty high. i think that if there is a surprise, it could still be to the downside of that 3% number. >> susie: now, no signs of growth today from the retail sector. june sales at the nation's retailers fell 0.5%, much weaker than economists
>> susie: they're the foundation of the u.s. economy, but today a bill to boost lending to small businesses and increase hiring hit a wall in the senate. still, business owners say they need the help. >> i don't want to hire somebody and have to lay them off if work slows down. >> tom: we'll tell you what's holding her and others back from hiring. you're watching "nightly business report" for thursday, july 29. this is "nightly business report" with susie gharib and tom hudson. "nightly business report" is made possible by: this program is made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by wpbt >> susie: good evening everyone, a big setback for small business tonight. senate republicans blocked a $30 billion plan to boost lending for the nation's small businesses. tom, president obama was counting on this bill to create jobs. >> tom: susie, the legislation also would have provided $12 billion dollars in tax breaks, but opponents argued it was just another expensive program packed with extra spending. >> susie: this impasse
expired back in early june about $3 billion has not been spent. over that same month interest on the u.s. debt in june was $107 billion. we seem to be, you know, talking about spending pennies or saving pennies when we're spending dollars. >> i totally agree. it's a very small amount of money. the fact that it's a very small amount of money also means that any possible effect in stimulating the economy is also very trivial because we're talking about a very small amount of money. the broader thing is it creates the wrong incentive. there's clear evidence that people who are unemployed tend to leave unemployment just before their unemployment benefits run out. it's not just a question... it's not the right way to think about is it are their jobs the right way is are there jobs at low wagers? there would be a lot more jobs out there. that's the adjustment that needs to happen in many cases. but ununemployment insurance and especially very, very long- term unemployment insurance impedes that kind of adjustment. >> tom: christian, i want to.... >> that's.... >> tom: aaddress that job demand
. the u.s. recovery lost momentum this spring, susie. that came as consumers spent less and imports surged. >> susie: tom, "sluggish" is the best way to describe growth in the second quarter: the gross domestic product, or g.d.p., slowed to an annual rate of 2.4%. that's down from a revised 3.7% in the first quarter, but on the positive side, this is the fourth straight quarter of growth. >> tom: the smaller g.d.p. figure was balanced by a big jump in midwest business activity. the chicago purchasing managers index marked its 10th straight month of expansion, up to 62.3. any number over 50 signals growth. today's numbers highlight the cross currents in the economy, and whether growth will be strong enough to drive down unemployment. suzanne pratt takes a look at what analysts say lies ahead for the u.s. economy. >> reporter: on the surface, the economy growing at a rate of 2.4% doesn't sound so bad. after all, consumer spending in the second quarter was only slightly weaker than the first quarter. on top of that, businesses bought up equipment and software at a blistering pace. the problem
Search Results 0 to 49 of about 99 (some duplicates have been removed)